deponti (deponti) wrote,

4th Sunday outing, Muthanallur kere, 221219

Nowadays, what with the monsoon not willing to leave us, and the  winter morning fog setting in as well, the question always is, "Will we  be able to see anything at the beginning of a bird walk?"

Well,  enough of us gathered at the pig farm at Muthanallur lake to answer  this question...the answer being,  "It's difficult to distinguish  colours, but the birds are there...and enjoy the lovely monochrome  scenery until the colours are clear!"

The pig  farm was probably not the most pleasant of places as a meeting point,  noisome as it was. However, as soon as I took the mandatory group photo,  we set off along the narrow path, and reached the bund of the lake. The  water in the lake is still quite high, but the areas near the bund are  completely covered by water hyacinth, making it impossible for any  waders to forage there. We saw a few Grey Herons, a Purple Heron, and  several Egrets, and in the bare trees, we watched a flock of  Chestnut-tailed Starlings arrive and fly around noisily. This reminded  me of the majestic Silk-cotton tree at Lalbagh, the blossoms of which  are covered by flocks of these Starlings in season, making it a  delightful sight!

The next sighting  brought forth exclamation marks from everyone; one of the distant bare  branches sat a Booted Eagle, one of the winter visitors which one  generally expects to see at this location. A few Drongos were there,  too, mobbing other birds as usual..but this time, it was Black Kites  which mobbed the Eagle and sent it flying off. However, we kept sighting  both the pale and dark morphs of this bird as they wheeled overhead in  their search for prey.

We walked as far as we  could along the bund, noting the excessive growth of Lantana and  Parthenium, which crowded out much of the other plants one would like to  see. Sunbirds, however, seemed to enjoy nectaring in the former, and  the latter had a lot of Lynx spiders and Orb Weavers.. The  "chit-chit-chit" of the Pale-billed Flowerpeckers kept up a rhythm to  our walking.

Beyond the majestic Mahua tree and  the newly-constructed Adi Parashakti temple, the path became really  overgrown after a bit, so we retraced our steps to the temple, where we  halted to share our snacks, and then walked down perpendicular to the  lake bund. In the open space just beyond the temple, the Booted Eagles  gave us an aerobatics show again; and several Large Grey Babblers, a  Paddyfield Pipit, and some flitting-in-the-undergrowth Warblers kept us  occupied.

The path into the Eucalyptus  grove yielded a few more birds, and the swampy area that we ended up in   had Purple Swamphens, a White-breasted Waterhen, the White-throated  Kingfisher, and Bee-eaters too. We watched each bird's behaviour for a  while, and then turned and retraced our steps.

All  this sounds as if we did the walking in a smooth, continuous way...but  that is never the way it is with bird watching! Halt, find something  that looks interesting, peer it at through binoculars, try and identify  the bird, and then observe's a stop-and-go procedure, with the  stops often outnumbering the "go" part!

We  noticed several beautiful butterflies on the path, too, and it was  pleasant to hear the sound of contented clicking as the macro  photographers captured various six- and eight-footers. I was able to  point out a few wildflowers like Ipomoea, Indigofera, Trichodesma (such  scientific names are, to me, less fascinating than the common names...I  much prefer "Coat Button" to "Tridax" and  "Krishna Kranti" to Evolvulus!)

All too  soon, we wound along the path in the Eucalyptus grove, with the last  sighting of a Paradise Flycatcher to keep in our memory (and our memory  cards) as a memento of another pleasant morning at Muthanallur kere. As  usual, while some of us went home to waiting breakfasts, some adjourned  to a group breakfast where we laughed and exchanged notes, and admired  excellent shots on the bazooka lenses!

The eBird list is at

I have put up my photos on an FB album at

and the Flickr album is at



Blue, Lesser Grass

Blue, Pale Gass

Blue, Pea

Blue, Zebra

Cerulean, Common

Emigrant, Common

Jezebel, Common

Mormon, Common

Pansy, Chocolate

Pansy, Lemon

Pansy, Yellow

Pierrot, Common

Rose, Crimson

Tiger, Plain

Tiger, Striped

Yellow, Common Grass

Yellow, Three-spot Grass

Cheers, and see you all with "Twenty-Twenty" vision next year!

Tags: birding, butterflies, flowers, insects, lakes, nature, photography

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